Effects of turmeric on uremic pruritus in end stage renal disease patients: a double-blind randomized clinical trial

J Nephrol. 2014 Apr;27(2):203-7. doi: 10.1007/s40620-014-0039-2. Epub 2014 Jan 31.


Background: Uremic pruritus as a symptom that affects hemodialysis (HD) patients can decrease the quality of life and increase morbidity in these patients. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of turmeric on uremic pruritus in HD patients.

Subjects and methods: This was a double-blind placebo-controlled trial conducted on 100 HD patients suffering from pruritus. Patients (mean age 53.3 ± 15.8 years) were randomized into two groups: turmeric and placebo. The pruritus score and biochemical determinants including high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) were compared before and at the end of the study between the two groups.

Results: The mean decrease in hs-CRP was significantly higher in the turmeric than the placebo group (-0.8 ± 2.6 vs. 0.4 ± 8.7 mg/l, p = 0.012). Also reduction of pruritus scores was greater in the turmeric than the placebo group (13.6 ± 2.6 vs. 7.2 ± 2.6, p = 0.001). No side effect was observed during the study due to the use of turmeric.

Conclusions: This study demonstrates the possible efficacy of turmeric in decreasing hs-CRP and uremic pruritus in end stage renal disease patients. Future studies are needed to further evaluate the efficacy and safety of turmeric.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • C-Reactive Protein / metabolism
  • Curcuma*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / complications*
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / therapy
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Plant Preparations / therapeutic use*
  • Pruritus / blood
  • Pruritus / drug therapy*
  • Pruritus / etiology
  • Renal Dialysis
  • Rhizome
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Uremia / etiology*


  • Plant Preparations
  • C-Reactive Protein